Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week:

What women want: The proportion of women in tech remains far too low, despite concerted efforts to rectify things. Studies show that this regression is largely due to poor culture in many tech workplaces that aren’t inclusive enough to support female workers. In cultures where discrimination was more prevalent, women would advance to managerial roles just 28% of the time, versus 40% for men. Some of the top inclusive culture aspects that women wish to see in a company include supporting parents and parents-to-be, genuine mentors, and diversity in senior positions. 

High hopes: Jay-Z has created a $10 million fund for startups to boost minority-owned cannabis businesses. The rapper and entrepreneur says he is motivated by an imbalance in the marijuana business: People of color, who have been disproportionately punished for involvement in the drug, where it is illegal, comprise only a small number of those making money from the multibillion-dollar market in legalized pot. Mr. Carter, who started the $10 million in seed money received as part of a merger, joins a broader push for equitable, economic opportunity across the cannabis sector. 

Born to be wild (and safe): New fashion technology from Airbag Inside Sweden AB designed airbag jeans and high-tech vests to make motorbikes safer. The wearer tethers the jeans to their bike and if they fall from the motorcycle, the airbags are triggered, filling with compressed air and lessening the impact on the lower body. The airbag can then be deflated, refilled with gas and reassembled into the jeans to use again. This is part of a larger effort to make innovative safety options more attainable to motorcyclists around the globe. 

Food for thought: Executives at Kellogg Co. and Unilever are calling on startups to help tackle food industry issues. The companies partnered with the organizers of the Future Food-Tech Summit to launch the Innovation Challenge, which will culminate in a pitch at the live-streamed virtual event on March 11-12. Innovative food solutions can include improving taste, plant-based alternatives, gut wellness, and waste management.

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week:

Try your mother’s maiden name? Bitcoin owners are getting rich because the cryptocurrency’s value has soared. But what happens when you can’t tap that wealth because you forgot the password to your digital wallet? Stefan Thomas, a German-born programmer living in San Francisco, has two guesses left to figure out a password that is worth, as of this week, about $220 million. 

When in doubt, Zoom it out: Companies have had to figure out remote work on the fly. Everything from outdated technology to a lack of in-person social time with colleagues has presented new challenges for employees used to an office environment. However, businesses are finding that with a little flexibility, the right technology, and more employee training, they can increase employee productivity well into 2021 and beyond. 

Word of Advice: At 34 years old, Nikhil Kamath is one of India’s youngest billionaires after co-founding India’s largest trading brokerage, Zerodha. The company has seen its number of registered users double under the pandemic and reportedly has a daily turnover of an estimated $10 billion. Nikhil explains his best advice for other entrepreneurs’ success, including observing industry trends and tapping into growing industries. 

Good genes: Gene-editing technology can tackle some of life’s most pressing problems, from disease to malnutrition. In the past decade or so, genetic engineering has undergone its own transformation, thanks to companies like CRISPR Therapeutics, which allows its users to snip a stretch of DNA and then either disable the affected sequence or replace it with a new one. Funding has risen from larger pharma companies, considering that the treatments could be lucrative and the broader technologies may be highly scalable. Because of this, gene-editing stocks have now returned about 230% over the past 2 years, compared to the broader S&P 500, which is up by about 52% over the same period.

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week:

Do what you like, like what you do: This past year brought an explosion of newly launched small businesses and startups. What are their success secrets? One tip is to simply be yourself and be passionate about your work. Embracing your identity and trusting yourself allows for more novel products and opportunities. The pandemic and lockdowns have afforded many of us the time and space to discover who we are, and what we want in life, love, and work. The start of a new year is a great time to pursue these passions and go full entrepreneur. 

Purpose over profit: From the importance of authenticity to being grounded in humanity, purpose-driven companies will not only help advance industries, but create meaningful societal impacts. What are some of the top forecasted trends for businesses focused on purpose? One main aspect will be that “storytelling” will evolve into “story-doing.” Companies will increasingly take action before they communicate about it. “We’ll hear stories about real risk-taking, about rolling up sleeves and jumping in to help,” says Laura Ferry, president of Good Company. “We will learn about the people who bravely stood up, helped others, or marched for a cause.”

Creativity is intelligence having fun: Some researchers are finding that while many companies are spending more money on creativity and innovations, their returns are still flatlining. How can they fix this creative slump? Welcome “Augmented Creativity.” This is a term being used when humans use AI to help them understand the deluge of data to create new works and prototypes. This approach utilizes huge datasets that AI mines to look for well-established, yet previously untapped, connections. Augmented Creativity has helped develop everything form new music apps, to delectable cookie-cake hybrids. 

Wednesday’s riots in Washington D.C., which included the United States Capitol being breached during the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes, has gained the attention of business leaders from around the globe. Executives and CEOs from some of the world’s biggest tech companies took to platforms to condemn the violence, and even temporarily ban Trump’s accounts, but was it too little too late? The role of social media, and the political, cultural power it can wield, left Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, saying: “there are a lot of hard questions we’re going to have to answer for our children.” In any case, here’s to hoping 2021 has nowhere to go but up from here.

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week: 

From being on mute to overusing the adjective “unprecedented,” here’s a roundup of  lessons we all learned in 2020. One key takeaway? Apparently, people are generally better off when their leaders are emotionally intelligent, humble, and ethical. Want to better your emotional and cultural intelligence skill set? Make sure to try our new Cultural Intelligence course. 

Can innovation be learned? The answer is yes, according to Elon Musk, one of the most innovative entrepreneurs of the modern era. During a candid interview with Wall Street Journal, Musk argued that creating innovative products is “absolutely learnable.” It all comes down to answering three simple questions

A whole new meaning for greenhouse: AI technology can now help fight the climate problem that may be hiding inside buildings. From HVAC systems to water chillers, almost 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions comes from the construction and operation of buildings. A new startup called Carbon Lighthouse is using hundreds of sensors combined with AI to dramatically lower carbon emissions.

No more language barrier: The UK-based startup, Papercup, has developed speech technology that translates people’s voices into other languages. Papercup is building out an AI and machine learning-based system that it says is capable of translating a person’s voice and expressiveness into other languages. Unlike a lot of text-to-speech, the startup claims the resulting voice translation is “indistinguishable” from human speech, and, perhaps uniquely, it attempts to retain the characteristics of the original speaker’s voice. The company has already raised £8 million in funding and is being used in the video and television industry. 

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week: 

Here’s to strong women: Forbes has unveiled its list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” From fighting the pandemic to reengineering American politics, these influential women — including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams — are making history. According to Forbes, the women who made the 17th annual list “hail from 30 countries and were born across four generations. There are 10 heads of state, 38 CEOs and five entertainers among them. Where they differ in age, nationality, and job description, they are united in the ways they have been using their platforms to address the unique challenges of 2020.”

Beavers, burpees, and bread, oh my! What do these three things have in common? They were some of the most-searched words in 2020. It’s that time of year again when Google Trends releases the UK’s most-searched terms of the year. From sourdough to sanitizer, not surprisingly, the coronavirus pandemic dominated this year’s list. 

If you want to explore the most-searched trends, globally or for your home country, head here.

Need an inspirational spark for your next “Aha” moment? Here are five steps that will help boost your creativity and capacity for innovation. From fundamental steps like exploration and focus, scientists have studied how the process of creativity works within our brain and what conditions can favor new, unconventional ideas. For example, a brain that achieves mastery through practice and repetition is more capable of finding innovative solutions to complex problems in a given area. 

Face value: China’s male skincare market is booming and domestic startups and global investors are taking notice. These new beauty companies have brand ambitions that rival giants, like L’Oreal, in a billion-dollar business that serves millennial men. The cosmetic interest seems to be highly influenced by the spread of social media and South Korean pop culture. Already the biggest in the world, the Chinese men’s facial skincare market is forecast to hit 12.5 billion yuan ($1.90 billion) this year – and expand 50% to 18.5 billion yuan in 2025.

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week: 

Pivot! A buzzword synonymous for start-ups is making its way into the shared vocabulary for small businesses. Smaller companies are finding new ways of operating and reaching new consumers in an increasingly competitive space. Business founders are learning lessons from entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and other tech hubs. These start-up skills are helping them streamline their processes and in many cases, boosting profits. 

Good genes: The UK-based startup, Bit Bio, is aiming to recreate every human cell type in the body. Not only will this be a monumental scientific milestone, but access to human cells would also accelerate the development of cell-based therapies. Quantic alum, Grant Belgard, is the Head of Bioinformatics at Bit Bio. The company’s cell reprogramming platform only needed three weeks to raise $41.5 million in a Series A funding round that will be used to support this company’s goal. 

Green machine: There’s never been a greater push for sustainable products and technologies than there is today. We’ve reached a critical point with regards to climate change, and many global innovators and businesses are stepping up to the plate to build a greener future. From smog vacuum cleaners, robotic bees, and edible cutlery, here are some of the incredible examples of sustainable innovation that could change the world as we know it.

Shape up your social accounts: A start-up, Lifebrand, is now using AI and machine learning technology to scrub users’ social media accounts for “harmful” posts. Their software boasts that it can scan your social media accounts (if permitted), and flag potentially inappropriate or harmful posts so you can review and/or delete them. The company was the winner of a pitch competition with more than 1,000 competing companies, hosted by investing company, StartEngine with Kevin O’Leary. Executive MBA student, Dr. Chris Kager, has been an investor and a close advisor for Lifebrand. Chris recently helped the company raise the majority of their $1.6 million seed round.

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week: 

We’re big fans of fellow disruptors: From nanobots to brain-computer interfaces, Forbes lists its top five emerging disruptive technologies that entrepreneurs need to know. They have the potential to create innovative breakthroughs and completely change the aerospace, health and manufacturing sectors. 

Move over Dr. Dolittle: A new app has been developed that can translate your cat’s meow. MeowTalk records the sound of your feline friend and then attempts to identify the meaning. The purr-fect concept was developed by a former Amazon Alexa engineer. Although every cat’s meow is unique, it can translate the sound into phrases like “Feed Me!” The app is mostly used for fun now, but could lead to developments of “smart-collars” for in-depth pet vocal translations. 

Gen Z passes the vibe check: New reports show that Zillennials will reshape the economy and how we invest… forever. The first generation born into an online world is now entering the workforce and compelling other generations to adapt. Gen Z plans to do things differently than past generations, especially with their time and money. Sectors that will benefit include e-commerce, luxury, and media, while areas like alcohol, meat, cars and travel may suffer.


Old McDonald had a drone: Studies show that drones are helping UK farmers become more sustainable and increase their yield. They are offering a wide range of agriculture benefits like irrigation management, high-resolution crop maps, and quality control. European startups are now creating drones that can collect data to create valuable insights into the effectiveness of overall farming methods and techniques. 

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup


Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week: 

Do NOT hold the fries: According to data, comfort food and tons of alcohol got America through election night. Searches for “fries near me” and “liquor stores near me” skyrocketed across all platforms. According to Drizly, an alcohol delivery company, the blue states it services saw a 75% increase, while red states hit a 33% increase. Blue states favored wine, while swing states preferred liquor.

Just breathe: A Singapore startup has developed a breath test it says can detect COVID-19 in under 60 seconds. Based on clinical trials involving 180 patients, the system has clocked an accuracy rate of more than 90%. The startup, Breathonix, believes the test will be a welcome and viable alternative to the uncomfortable nose swab tests, which also take longer to process results. 

Zombies, science-fiction, and secret agents, oh my! A new breed of running apps are being designed to motivate those who might not be excited to hit the pavement. The app, Running Stories, uses real-time data and GPS markers to integrate an exciting plot with your surroundings. Complete a secret mission, fend off monsters, all while burning plenty of calories.  

Reduce, reuse, recycle… robots? AMP Robotics’ AI-robots are being used to sort and recycle more than 67 million tons of waste. With sorting jobs becoming less appealing, and the recent, skyrocketing increase in packaging from online shopping, the need for processing recyclables has never been greater. Now, between the robots’ sorting accuracy and lower labor costs, facilities will be able to focus on improving the recycled materials that they sell.

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week: 

The long road to red and blue: The most viral election map of 2020 was actually made by a Belgian man in 2019. Designer Karim Douïeb, who runs his own data visualization company, decided to update the map he was seeing in social posts. It bugged him because, like so many electoral maps, it framed thousands of miles of empty land as voting for Trump instead of representing the few people actually living in it. He created a more accurate representation, which depicted the actual count of red and blue votes in counties across the nation as simple circles, their size proportional to the number of votes.

Salt and lime not included: What started out as a Tesla April Fools joke became a reality… and is now sold out. The car company has created an agave-based tequila that runs buyers $250 a bottle. The spirit is sold in a bottle that resembles the shape of Tesla’s iconic lighting bolt logo. The tequila sold out within hours of being live on the website. 

What women really want: A London-based menopause startup secured £500K in funding to help support more than 13 million women in the UK. The menopause’ market potential largely remained untapped in the past, due to stigma and silence around it. With more startups now focusing on women’s health, the stigma surrounding menopause and other health matters has started to fade away. MPowder is an e-commerce startup that provides nutritional powders that tackle hormonal changes and provides women with insights, practices, and tools to empower them through menopause. 

A little “me time” and mediation: No matter where you live, it’s been a long week of US election and COVID-19 news. For those that need a mental health holiday, there’s an app for that. Whether it’s mediation, exercise, or better sleep, experts have designed platforms to calm our minds and reduce anxiety levels. Download one of these and start instantly de-stressing.

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week: 

Mars is partnering with Acquia to create a digital spooktacular Halloween. Mars wanted to digitize the physical experience of Halloween trick-or-treating, but make it more engaging than a website. To build on that idea, the company held a one-week hackathon. Treat Town was created, which is a platform that can be experienced on the free app or through a browser. Candy-givers and trick-or-treaters sign up and create profiles. Candy-givers can design and decorate their virtual door, purchase candy credits from Mars, and decide whether anyone on Treat Town can visit their door (or friends and family only). People can even set different levels of rewards for friends and family and even donate to charities

Samasource, a training data and validation company based in San Francisco, believes AI technology can enhance human-centered work instead of threaten it. Artificial intelligence is an emerging force in the business world that has the potential to either replace humans in certain industries or empower humans with better tools, depending on how the technology is utilized. The company’s philosophy is to use artificial intelligence to empower the human workforce. AI will simply remove more mundane tasks, so that humans can focus on tasks that require higher cognition and focus on higher value areas of work.

The company, PORTL Hologram, has raised $3M to put a hologram machine in every home. PORTL’s projector can transmit images any time of the day or night with its “studio-in-a-box.” Anyone with $60,000 to spend and a white background can beam themselves into any portal, anywhere in the world. The company plans to create miniature versions that will be the size of a desktop computer and will be bundled with entertainment systems like Peloton and Mirror. 

Need something to read this weekend? Sports writer, Jon Bois, used his platform on SB Nation to write his latest multimedia story: 20020: What is the Future of College Football. This is the sequel to his 25-part fiction story about the future of America where football games last for thousands of years and span the continent. The digital science fiction piece explores what would happen if humans lived in a utopian meditation with endless time…and sports!